Late effects of therapy in patients with paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma. Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Committee

J Clin Oncol. 1992 Apr;10(4):614-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1992.10.4.614.


Purpose: We report on long-term health-related problems determined from extended follow-up of 86 children and adolescents who were treated for paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma on the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Studies I and II (IRS I-II).

Patients and methods: Patients were treated between 1972 and 1984, and ages at diagnosis ranged from 10 months to 19 years. The majority of these patients had initial retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RLND) or sampling performed.

Results: Problems related to surgical procedures included bowel obstruction in nine patients, loss of normal ejaculatory function in eight, development of a hydrocele in five, and lymphedema of the leg in five. Sequelae related to radiotherapy were difficult to assess with the exception of three patients whose remaining testes were in the field of radiotherapy. In general, kidney and bladder function were normal in patients who received radiotherapy to the paraaortic lymph nodes and/or bladder. Four patients who had abdominal radiotherapy had chronic diarrhea. Two patients had urethral strictures and urethritis. Four patients had bone or soft tissue hypoplasia in the field of radiotherapy. Chemotherapy-related late effects were primarily hemorrhagic cystitis or gonadal dysfunction after cyclophosphamide. A third of the patients who received cyclophosphamide developed hemorrhagic cystitis, and half of these had extended periods of gross hematuria after therapy was discontinued. The testicular size was small in children whose testes were irradiated and in some who received cyclophosphamide. Tanner staging was normal in 45 patients for whom it was recorded. Elevated follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) values or known azoospermia occurred in more than half the patients for whom data were available.

Conclusions: A variety of sequelae related to therapy were determined in this patient population. These findings suggest that some aspects of therapy warrant reevaluation and that improved plans for follow-up care need to be provided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ejaculation / physiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
  • Lymphedema / etiology
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / physiopathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*
  • Testicular Hydrocele / etiology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / physiopathology
  • Testis / radiation effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents